Seeds in the Attic: Recentering Indigeneity with Tallgrass Prairie Restorations

Daniel Richard Maher (University of Arkansas Fort Smith)

Invasive species, pioneers, plows, and pesticides have decimated the once magnificent ecosystem of the tallgrass prairie ranging from Winnipeg to Houston, from Wichita to Terre Haute. With less than one percent of this “original” tallgrass prairie expanse remaining, conservationists and eco-tourists find refuge from the troubled history of agri-corps and climate change in the space of tallgrass prairie restorations. This paper will explore what it means to return to the “native seeds,” ask the question of how we determine the start of this period of indigeneity, and what it reveals about the individuals who create that temporal parameter.

Part of 32-06 Cultivating Identity with Recentered Seeds, Wednesday, October 20, 11:15 am–12:45 pm